It may seem that the basis of a relationship should be respect. One of the unfortunate ways in which society has changed is in the matter of relationship respect. Partners often marry before sorting out their feelings toward the other person. They rush into marriage or move in together without truly respecting the other person. They may not recognize this lack of respect as an issue, or may mistake love for respect. Either way, a person that does not respect their partner will generally not have a successful long term relationship.
Respecting a partner begins with listening to them. A person that listens to only part of what their partner says will not really know all the information they need for a balanced relationship. Not listening is one way to tell a partner that their feelings, opinions or needs do not matter. A person that takes the time to listen will find ways to help their partner with important issues. They will have the required respect to ensure both people get what they need from the relationship.
Two people in a relationship will often have different needs. Regardless of their emotional closeness, they are still individuals. One person may need reassurance on issues they consider important. When a partner ignores this need, the person feels lost and alone in the relationship. This is a crack in the base of the relationship. It can be repaired over time, but will break the relationship if no repair effort is made.
Many relationships break down due to lack of respect. One partner begins to control the other instead of communicating. This partner may be the breadwinner, or may be the person that runs the household. It does not matter what position they hold. Once they stop listening and act without considering the needs of their partner, they begin the breakdown of the relationship.